MONGOOSE VERSUS COBRA
what’s in a name
David versus Goliath. Good versus Evil. Mongoose versus Cobra. Mongoose? Versus? Cobra? Wait, what? We really thought we knew all those epic battles … apparently we didn’t! Mongoose versus Cobra, a battle and a new Houston bar?? Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book short story? Nat Geo channel special report? No, man, it’s the name of a new bar!
Mongoose Versus Cobra or MvsC for short, is a bar, that much we know. So, that name? Not exactly sure but let’s carry on and discuss what else we do know. We now know that the entire Greensheet parking lot is for MvsC patrons during ‘evening’ hours, a nice gesture. While looking for said parking we know the first thing we noticed, a façade trend these days, was the repurposing of space from interior to exterior. In other words, the cool patio out front. As you approach, the ivy, the wall of windows, the quotes in the concrete curbs, they all do a good job of saying ‘hey, hey, guy on the street … come on in … yeah, it’s cool here.’ Inside, the west side of the building is simply raw brick and windows, a seemingly flawless restoration of the original 1900’s box. The bar and other new to the building areas (mechanical room, kitchen, restrooms, even a loft) are on the east side. What the heck are those glass spheres inside the wall behind the bar? Hey, look at the loft! Sorry, we got distracted. A good-sized, open area with large bench tables fading back to smaller more intimate seating allows for a decent crowd. Original rafters, tastefully reused wood, metal and of course some drywall finish off the interior elements. The owners did great work here; it certainly is a solid remodel.
Those glass spheres behind the bar? Well, we did some research and it appears they are a state-of-the-art dispensing system called the KeyKeg. Apparently the KeyKeg is cheaper and more efficient than those dime-a-dozen steel kegs. At least we know they look cool. MvsC has up to 42 beers on tap with 2 additional nitro engines. The wide-ranged draft beer listing is supplemented by a nice selection of bottles. MvsC even made a pretty awesome sign to display current draft offerings; look around you can’t miss it. We just wish the sign shared a little more information about the beers it so proudly displays. Even beer enthusiasts need more than “Brewery” and “Recipe” to know what they are getting into. The list on the website was a little outdated we were told, but at least it included the “Style” of the beer. Fear of the unknown? Luckily the passionate list of spirits and cocktails are on the printed menu! We know this much: We enjoyed all the drinks we drank, maybe a little too much, and isn’t that all that really matters?
What else do we know? We know we saw at least two mongoose versus cobra statues viciously displaying the epic battle of yore. We know the place got loud, and people appeared to be having fun. Not that the statues or noise relate – but we know next time we are going to eat more of the food. We saw people being served what looked like a meal in a bucket? Apparently, it’s the ploughman’s pail, a bold offering of “all the best bits for you and your friends.” Next time! The pretzel and the spicy roasted pumpkin seeds we did sample were pretty darn good, and we really shouldn’t have let our friends eat all of the bratwurst. Seriously, we should have had more food.
We still don’t really know what that name is about, but we now know two things. Mongoose versus Cobra looks to be in it for the long haul, and, “that which we are, we are.”
1011 mcgowen st. | houston, tx 77002 |
713.650.6872 | www.mongooseversuscobra.com
By Michael Cook
Photography by Daniel Ortiz